Tag Archives: winter greenhouse gardening

7 (More) Crops That Grow Best in Winter Gardens



Winter GardensIf you love gardening, there’s no reason to let the cooler weather interrupt you! There are plenty of crops that thrive when the temperatures fall, so don’t think you have to take a break until the spring. Winter gardens are beautiful and nutritious! 

Depending on your local climate, you can plant outdoors or in a greenhouse. If you’re in the South, outdoor gardens will work for you throughout most of the winter. But if you’re in the northern zones, your best bet is to rely on a greenhouse to help you extend the growing season.

A couple of years ago, we discussed the “7 Best Cold Weather Crops.” But now we’re going to detail seven more that will grow best in your winter gardens!

Radishes in Winter Gardens

Don’t limit yourself to the typical radishes you may see in the produce aisle at your local grocery store. Varieties like French Breakfast, White Icicle, Pink Beauties and Easter Eggs yield interesting shades of purple, pink, and white. And they grow fast! Some are ready within a month or less of seeding.

Peas in Winter Gardens

Plan to plant these in November or February, as those are the best months for this plant to flourish. Shelling or snap pea seeds should be placed an inch or two deep into rich soil, but give them a stake or something tall to wind around as they grow. Be mindful that birds like to feed on pea shoots, so you’ll want to protect them, yet allow sunshine and rain in.

Potatoes in Winter Gardens

Ideal for planting in February, potatoes are harvested three months after planting. They can also thrive as a late-season crop, particularly in the South, where there are only a couple of frosts per year. Potatoes can be successful for northern growers; they just have to ensure that the ground is well insulated for the crop to survive the cooler season.

Turnip Greens in Winter Gardens

For crisper, sweeter turnip greens, plant them in the fall. If the weather gets too hot—even if just for a few days—they can taste strong and bitter. Plant from late August to October for a fall crop in most areas. They need little room, but at least six inches apart, and make sure they get plenty of water, especially during drier fall weather.

Cauliflower for Winter Gardens

Cauliflower can be temperamental, making it one of the best late-season crops. Not recommended for spring, unless summers are cool. Start seeds indoors ealy in summer otherwise. For early harvests, particularly where fall weather doesn’t last long, select varieties like Snow Crown, Denali and green-headed Panther. For larger, more dense and sweet yields that mature in the main season, opt for Candid Charm, Skywalker and Graffiti.

Brussels Sprouts for Winter Gardens

Plant in early autumn to late winter for an early spring harvest. Some varieties mature earlier if you want to enjoy these veggies even earlier. These include: Prince Marvel, Jade Cross, and Lunet, which mature within 80-125 days from seed. Though they can be planted directly in the ground, your chances of success increases if you start them indoors.

Broccoli for Winter Gardens

Excels when planted outdoors in the fall, especially in warmer climates. A mid- to late-summer planting is recommended everywhere else unless you are using a greenhouse to extend your season. Be sure to give your plants 1 to 2 feet apart depending on the size of the heads you want to harvest. If you overseed, you must thin seedlings later to allow for growth.

Wondering what you need to get your winter garden going? Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help! Call our friendly representatives at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com. We’ll be happy to help you get growing!


Best Flowers to Grow in Your Winter Greenhouse

Winter Flowers for Greenhouse Gothic Arch GreenhouseGardening in the winter can help give you a boost during the sometimes dreary days, and focusing on flowers can have an especially positive effect by adding lots of color.

To varying degrees based on your growing zone, a greenhouse can help you achieve these brighter, mood-boosting blooms because of the controlled environment it allows the grower to manage.

Whether you’re simply starting seedlings in anticipation of spring or hoping to grow cut flowers for your own enjoyment or to sell, a greenhouse makes it possible!

Flowers grown in a greenhouse grow taller, bloom earlier and have fewer imperfections thanks to the greenhouse’s protection from pests and the elements. Bulbs generally do well in the winter and will yield blooms by February.

For some flower options that thrive in winter, consider these and their planting recommendations below:

December: Plant iris, calla lilies and freesia.

January: Plant daffodils, iris, tulips and hyacinth.

February: Plant orchid, iris and lilies.

Other flowers that can be successful in your greenhouse in winter include:

Amaryllis: This tropical flower is the easiest of all flowering bulbs to bring to bloom. Available in solids, such as red, white, pink, salmon and orange, as well as striped and multicolored varieties.

Christmas Cactus: This overlooked holiday bloom does need water, though less during the winter—even none after its flowering. Christmas cacti need a balance of light, but less light if you want more blooms.

Impatiens: These flowers, available in red, orange, purple, peach, pink and white, do best in a greenhouse temperature maintained at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Susceptible to cold, impatiens seeds germinate in 10 to 14 days.

Pansy: The rich blues, yellows, reds and purples of pansies thrive in the cool of the winter, both withstanding and performing better in the lower temperatures. When finished in the low 50s to upper 60s, they are tougher with thick, dark leaves.

Snapdragon: The tall blooms of the snapdragon add a touch of spring to your greenhouse or even as cut flowers in your home. The prefer mid 60s to low 70s temperatures, with more light as they grow to encourage flower production.

With a greenhouse, it’s not too early to start dreaming of spring. If you want to enjoy the year-round joys of gardening, we can help. Just call us at 800-531-4769 or visit us at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to get started!


5 Winter Growing Tips to Keep You Gardening

Glass Greenhouse Winter Growing TipsJust because the days will start getting shorter after the autumnal equinox doesn’t mean gardeners will have to go into hibernation until spring.

Utilizing a greenhouse is a great way to continue to stay involved with your gardening efforts, despite the cooler temperatures and shorter days to come.

Some consider fall the “second spring,” the next best time to start planting tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs and flowers—all carefully chosen for their ability to thrive in cooler seasons.

Of course, the gardener’s latitude, crop and other additional variables unique to the operation will determine where the seedlings will be started or transplanted.

To successfully take advantage of winter growing, get gardening keeping these tips in mind:

Know when to plant. If you know the average date of the first killing frost in your region, then you can determine when to plant your winter crops. Plant them early enough so they reach their full maturity before that killing frost. Local garden authorities can help provide such information and even what crops grow well in your area.

Make the most of natural sunlight. You’ll still be able to take advantage of heat provided by the sun, but also be prepared to provide supplemental lighting, especially if a long spell of overcast weather is forecast.

Select cold hardy plants. Lettuces, salad greens, scallions, spinach and kale will provide your winter salad fix. Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, strawberries and herbs, such as basil, rosemary and thyme, will make excellent additions as well.

Know when to water. Start in the morning, as soon as the frost is gone, to give plants time to dry before the nighttime drop in temperatures. Watering deeply from time to time is a possibility so you don’t overwater, making plants less able to withstand cold. If you feel moisture about a half inch deep around the plant, you should err on the side of not watering.

Utilize natural ventilation as much as possible. Not only will this reduce your energy costs, but also you will reduce the stress on your plants that could be caused by leaving the greenhouse closed on a sunny day. Good ventilation is also good for disease prevention.

In addition to these tips, winter gardening can provide the perfect cure for the seasonal blues. Not only will the inside of your greenhouse feel a little more like spring (given that the sun is shining!), but also seeing the fruits of your labor can be extremely invigorating and satisfying during a dark and dreary winter.

Are you ready to prepare for winter growing? We have all the supplies you need! Give us a call at 1-800-531-4769 to speak with one of our friendly representatives or visit our website www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more.